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Published May 12, 2012, 08:53 PM

New Tradition at UND Graduation Ceremony

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) - UND started a new graduation tradition today, as it spotlights students who have parents or grandparents who graduated from the school.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAY

UND started a new graduation tradition today, as it spotlights students who have parents or grandparents who graduated from the school. Just one highlight as 15-hundred students received diplomas today.

More than 6000 proud family members and friends filled the stands of the Alerus Center to watch new graduates turn their tassles. Some students wiped away tears, but many say they're looking forward to what the future holds.

Griffin Strangel – UND Graduate: "On to bigger and better things the next couple months."

Jared: "I’ll miss my friends up here and miss the environment, but I’m excited for new things."

Many embraced UND's new tradition debuting this year... the legacy cord. It holds special meaning for Mark Becker, whose grandfather graduated from UND medical school.

Mark Becker – UND Graduate: "I haven't seen him yet, but I’m excited to show him the cord and stuff and that we share the same connection graduating from UND."

Graduates are not the only ones celebrating today. Senator Kent Conrad, Mary Wakefield, and B. John Berry received honorary degrees from the university.

"In appreciation of your extraordinary accomplishments, the University of North Dakota is proud to confer upon you the honorary degree of doctor of letters."

The three were awarded degrees for outstanding dedication to their fields.

DVD copies of the full ceremony are being sold at the university bookstore.

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